Star Trek Green Lantern: The Spectrum War by Mike Johnson

A review by Nalini Haynes

Warning: late in this review there are spoilers encased in bolded spoiler alert and end-of-spoiler headings.

Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Ears (aka Spock played by Zachary Quinto) are out exploring dead rocks in space. You can tell which actors feature in this comic book, at least in the early pages.

It must take the Enterprise FOREVER to get from Earth to Bajor because they investigate every anomaly along the way. (Not that the comic says they were heading to Bajor, it’s just the far-flung planet that came to mind.)

Kirk wants to stretch his legs so he toddles off on an away team with Big Ears and Noddy to pick up a skelly and some rings some careless tourist left behind. Every time Ears opens his mouth, Kirk cuts him off. Sometimes Kirk anticipates Spocktacular but other times he’s just an ass. Speckles gets his own back, just not often enough.

McCoy autopsies the skeleton: ‘He’s dead, Jim’. No! I never would have guessed!

But when McCoy says ‘Our Xeno-biologists are already climbing over themselves to get first crack’ I think he means they’re climbing over each other. Either that, or these xeno-biologists are a race new to Star Trek, perhaps sans-skeletons themselves.

And ‘first crack’?! First to crack the stasis tube? First look at the cracks in the skeleton? Or first crack at the body? He doesn’t say.

Shaun-of-the-not-quite-dead — I mean Scotty — wants to bombard the red Green Lantern ring with tachyons because combining color AND time particles is SUCH a good idea.

Crispy Pines (Chris Pike, aka Kirk) tells Scotty to keep an eye on the ring. Because you want to watch the colored ring activate, right? I thought about questioning the ring’s mobility but this is Star Trek so it could be transported without, y’know, legs or tentacles or an antigrav device.

I should have made that crack about the ring’s mobility because, dayum, Scotty bombards the whole set of rings with tachyons simultaneously — he’s never one to do something by halves — then General Chang shows up to arrest Captain Krunch. Meanwhile the rings fly away under their own power.

A green dude shows up, asking questions like ‘Why do you have my friend’s skeleton on board?’ Awkward.

The yellow, red and orange rings choose aggressive people from non-United Federation of Planets people: a Klingon, a Romulan and a Gorn (that lizard Kirk dueled in Classic Trek. He’s prettier now and not so plastic. The Gorn, not Kirk. Kirk couldn’t get much prettier.)

T’other rings all go to people on the Enterprise but — mad, subversive twist — NO RING FOR KIRK.

Nekron, a dude who just happens, coincidentally, to be a necromancer, is the baddie to end all baddies. Or, at least, the baddie to end a universe. Not all the universes. Not yet, at any rate.

Green Lantern doesn’t know what happened — then he does. He doesn’t know this new Star Trek world but he thinks he does. He’s out of time — thinking it’s still the 20th or 21st century but no one enlightens him.

Green Lantern is the only original good guy without a counterpart in the Star Trek universe.

The artwork consists of line drawings ‘inked’ electronically so this comic is pretty but lacking in soul; the artwork doesn’t hold a candle — or a flaming yellow dragon — to Nicola Scott’s artwork in Black Magick. I’m not sure about the Star Trek humans either: I can practically see the guys’ sixpacks through their apparently loose-fitting uniforms. Even Scotty’s non-human side-kick has a sixpack. The bodies are so uniform you could switch heads on all the guys and you’d only notice they were wearing the wrong color. Except for that one short dude because (you guessed it) he’s short.

The original pink (pink sapphire?) lantern’s costume has the boob window to end all boob windows. Not only does she have NO support, her costume and breasts defy gravity in not flapping loose in every breeze. The window keeps changing shape and size so, sometimes, a nipple should be showing but, at other times, it’s — relatively — modest, only showing the sides and beginning of the curve under her breasts. It’s possible this boob window is a flesh-colored star but, either way, it’s saying ‘Here are my boobs for your delectation because they’re the only “depth” I have’. Uhura’s mini-dress isn’t much better.

If Star Trek Green Lantern was a movie, it’d fail the Bechdel Test. There are two whole named women in the story and they talk but, between themselves, they only talk about Spock. A cat fight is imminent because Uhura is concerned Sapphire is interested in her man. (Pass me a bucket.) Sapphire teaches use of the rings but that’s not a conversation, more of an announcement, and I think some of the guys are with them.

Spoiler alert

The plot is a bit twisty in a Mobius-band way, not in a good way. ‘We can’t make new rings, we only have the old rings… and the new rings that were already made but we’re not mentioning that or how that doesn’t fit with the current narrative.’

It gets worse. Yellow dude says ‘Nekron? You think I fear him? I will finally end him myself! What use was our alliance before? Combining the powers of the spectrum only made each of us weaker’ then, a few pages later, he’s all ‘You need me if you’re going to have any chance against Nekron’ AND he allows them to put him in the brig.

End of spoilers

This Star Trek Green Lantern story starts well with lots of humor and series references but about mid-story it opts for melodrama instead. Splodeys and the comic equivalent of SFX abound in a vain attempt to conceal the plot holes through which you could fly a solar system. To maintain my interest, this story needed to be outrageously comedic not merely outrageous.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Diamond Code: MAY150301
Publisher: IDW Publishing

Star Trek Green Lantern — Green Lantern flies towards us as the crew of the Enterprise gather around Kirk with two big heads, one green and one red, in the background